About Andy Rails
With a long-held passion for shooting all things action and outdoors, Andrew Railton occupies a unique place in the world of sports and adventure photography. Regarded as one of Australia’s leading sports and action photographers, and a master of creating the perfect action image, Andy has been in high demand by the media and commercial world in equal measure, since turning his hand from cinematography to stills photography not long after the turn of the century.
Born in North Queensland’s glorious Whitsundays, the day after finishing school Andy left his childhood paradise for Brisbane to pursue a career in the Queensland Film & and Television Industry. Finding work as an assistant cameraman, he worked on hundreds of TVCs, numerous local and American TV drama series and tele-movies, as well as big budget Hollywood features.
The Film world especially represented an important formative period for Andy, learning the finer details of working with light, managing crews and the collaborative creative process from some of the world’s best cinematographers. All the while, his interest grew in still photography, captivated by the notion of having to tell a story in a single frame, as opposed to the linear storytelling of moving pictures.
In the early 2000s, he took the giant leap and left the film industry to hone his creative talents with the camera as a stills photographer. He quickly developed a freelance client base and, after a stint as a unit publicist in LA, convinced his calling was back in his homeland he returned to Australia in 2010.
Just a month later, he received an offer to work as Mt Buller’s PR, marketing and advertising photographer. Whilst the engagement was only for one winter season, it was a contract that would be a defining one for his career and, indeed, his life, as Andy decided to stay on. He worked and lived on the mountain full-time up until the summer of 2016, and is now based in Melbourne and has an office and studio in Port Melbourne.
Andy remains a regular at Mt Buller, where he can be found documenting the outdoor life and landscape of the mountain with the zeal and intimacy he is so well-known for. Whether it be capturing the beauty and rush of alpine sports on the slopes in snow season, or the magnificent terrain and mountain bike action in summer, there are few who know the mountain, its personality and ever-changing temperament like Andy Rails. Indeed, he loves the place so much he established Andy's Fat Tyre Bike Lodge several years ago, playing host to mountain bikers and outdoor adventurers during the summer month. You can check it out at ww.andysfattyrebikelodge.com.au
Not long after calling Mt Buller home, Andy came across high-speed flash synchronization techniques. He has since become more and more interested in optimising the results of high-speed flash synchronization, accumulating a significant and enviable collection of equipment and experience with these methods. Syncing flash at such high shutter speeds opens up so many creative possibilities. As a result, much of Andy’s work is about freezing action where it would otherwise be impossible to stage up without real momentum, composed with stylised lighting on daylight exterior locations.
There may be other photographers in Australia who use high speed flash synchronisation technology, but Andy is confident he is armed with the best equipment going around to achieve the highest quality results in the most efficient and timely manner.
Looking to the future, Andy plans to continue shooting sports and action, at the same time opening up his pallet to a larger range of sports while bringing a more commercial and advertising look and feel to his work.
So if you have a product or brand that could use Andy’s unique action freezing sports imagery, why not get in contact with Andy. If he’s not up on the mountain camping, on his bike, trekking rugged ground in a 4x4 or shredding some fresh powder, he’d be happy to have a chat.